Monthly Archives: February 2016

Who’s Health Is It?

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

 

No one cares about your health and the health of your loved ones more than you do. We at the Wellness Research Foundation believe that the best way to ensure quality in healthcare is to allow you to be in control. We believe you have an inherent right to decide on quality, expertise, respect and alternative treatments for your own health.

Unfortunately, the modern medical system all too often robs you of this natural right. Drug company marketing incentives directly conflict with your need for honest information. Hospitals and insurance companies make decisions concerning your health care options without your consent. Your own doctor has seen his authority eroded, and worse, has become increasingly dependent on medical information biased by economic influences beyond his control.

John Stewart Mill said, “A man’s (or woman’s) autonomy over his (or her) own body is absolute.” We are committed to joining you in reclaiming this right as we proclaim the following principles.

Your Health Emancipation Proclamation

1) You should be free to choose, according to your own standards.

2) You must have absolute “veto power” over any medical treatment option.

3) You should have access to medical research done by independent companies who will not benefit financially from the results.

4) You should be informed of potential side effects of any treatment option proposed.

5) You should have public education programs focused on wellness.

6) You should have equal and uncensored access to natural alternatives to conventional medical procedures and treatments.

To support you as a partner in these collaborate efforts, the WELLNESS RESEARCH FOUNDATION proclaims our commitment to provide research, education, publishing and an unbiased wellness information forum.

The Wellness Research Foundation Promises To:

Conduct new research to determine the effectiveness of more natural treatments.

  • Collate neglected international research data for a broader base of options.
  • Develop and support not-for-profit wellness programs.
  • Hold public seminars to disseminate health improvement strategies.
  • Cooperate with public institutions to share wellness findings.
  • Publish original, primary research articles.
  • Publish not-for-profit books, pamphlets, and reports on wellness and disease.
  • Provide a monthly wellness letter.
  • Discuss representative health concerns of all ages and groups.
  • Provide a medium for the developing, expressing and interacting of diverse views.

Proclaimed by the Board of Directors of the WELLNESS RESEARCH FOUNDATION.

Empower Yourself … And Keep Your Most Valuable Possession

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

“Every man is born with one possession which out values all others…His last breath”

–Mark Twain

Deep down, we all know there is nothing more important than our health. But sometimes we need reminding. We get distracted by our busy daily routines. It’s easy to neglect your health when it’s good.

It’s my job to remind you. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to taking care of yourself. Don’t take your health for granted. Take preventative action now, before things go bad.

In ancient China, they paid their doctors when they were well and stopped if they got sick. Sounds like a good system.

In today’s installment, you’ll find out why you have to take more responsibility for managing your own health than ever before.

* What Was Current Yesterday Is Outdated Today *

? The incredible speed of medical progress is a double-edged sword. A wise professor in medical school once told me that 50% of everything I learned in medical school would become obsolete within 10 years. Since graduating, the pace of change has only accelerated further.

• Publishing industry experts estimate that more than 6000 pages of new medical information are published every day. Even if your doctor reads 300 pages of new medical information per day, he is only skimming 5%. This overwhelming volume has lead to further and further specialization in medicine.

• Meanwhile, medicine has become big business. The insurance industry is taking control of decision making from your doctor. Their demands are forcing a hectic day-to-day lifestyle on doctors. The average workload is 150 patients per week.

• A recent issue of JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, reports that Americans headed to their doctors’ offices 697,082,000 times last year. After waiting to see the doctor, the average time spent face-to-face was to less than 10 minutes.

• The average time to ask the doctor questions is less than 60 seconds.

• According to April 2002, issue of US News & World Report, “This assembly line approach to medicine leaves patients frustrated and doctors disillusioned.”

* Power to the Patient *

These conditions call for a new approach … a system that empowers patients to become better equipped to manage their own health. Twenty-first century technology can help offer solutions. Ask your doctor if he has an E-mail address. E-mail correspondence can be an efficient way to improve communication with your doctor. Your doctor may even have his own web site. You should ask.

Plan for your next visit in advance by scanning the internet for information on your health concerns. Jot down notes and questions to take with you when you see your doctor. Take a friend or a spouse to help you remember. And as always, if he gives you a drug ask about alternatives – and ask about side effects.

I have maintained for years that the highest ethical role for a doctor is to inform and advise. Now with the power of Internet communication, I can accomplish this with far greater efficiency than ever before. Now you can have the option of considering health matters from a different point of view – The perspective that drugs should be minimized and natural alternatives preferred.

In the next installment, I will look at the most important supplement you should be taking. Hint: It’s not a vitamin.

Al Sears, MD

Drug Danger Hits Home

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

 

I had a narrow escape with danger last month. LM, a 68 year-old retired teacher living in Boca Raton came to see if I would help her lower cholesterol without drugs. She had heard through a friend that I specialized in natural alternatives.

LM had been given Zocor, one of the “statin” drugs. Soon after taking it, she began to feel tired and sore. “I told my doctor that I was aching all over and I had no energy. He said it couldn’t be the medication and I needed to keep taking it. He prescribed Celebrex for the pain but it didn’t help. I’m not supposed to see him again for three months.”

“It got so bad I couldn’t get out of bed. So … I don’t know if I should tell you this, but … I stopped the Zocor on my own, against his advice. I felt so much better. The next day, my energy came back. I haven’t taken any for a week. My muscles are still a little sore but that’s getting better too. I know it was the drug and I’ll never take it again.”

I reassured LM that she had done the right thing. She could use natural alternatives that would be safe. I checked her blood to make sure her kidneys were recovering. They were. But her cholesterol was a whopping 290. And it was mostly the unhealthy kind, LDL cholesterol. This combination makes having a heart attack or a stroke more likely.

* A Clear Case for a Natural Alternative *

So did I tell her to take a drug? Absolutely not! Natural alternates work as well without the dangers. I informed her about a little known natural supplement called policosanol.

Policosanol is an organic alcohol derived from plants. I know of at least 15 studies proving its effectiveness and safety. I’ve never seen any side effects and no serious side effects have been reported. I gave it to LM and in just one month, her total cholesterol plummeted to 208. Even better, that important ratio of good to bad cholesterol has already normalized.

You can get policosanol at any of the nutrition chain stores. I’ve seen it at GNC, Wild Oats, Nutrition World and others. I’ve used multiple brands with equally good results. I usually recommend starting with 20 milligrams per day and measure a cholesterol blood test in 3 months. You can take it any time of day, with or without food.

We made one other important change with LM. We stopped several other drugs and replaced them with natural alternatives – including what she had been told was HRT. That’s the subject I want to bring up in your next letter.

Al Sears, MD

Furnished versus Unfurnished

Renters will often be faced with the decision of whether to opt for a furnished apartment or an unfurnished apartment. The majority of apartments available for rent are likely to be unfurnished apartments but there are some apartments which are available with furnishings. There are some situations in which it makes sense to choose a furnished apartment. Likewise there are situations in which a furnished apartment is not a good idea. This article will discuss these situations in an effort to assist the reader in determining whether or not it is better to rent a furnished apartment or an unfurnished apartment.

iqmatics_ss2What Does Furnished Mean?

A furnished apartment may mean different things to different people. Some renters may expect a furnished apartment to have each and every room completely furnished with every possible piece of furniture. Typical furnishings may include a bed, a dresser, nightstands, alarm clock with built in radio, a television, stereo equipment, DVD player, an entertainment center, couch, coffee table, end tables, kitchen table and kitchen chairs. It may also include dining room furniture such as a dining room table, chairs and a curial cabinet. Others may assume a furnished apartment includes only the necessary furnishings such as a bed, couch, kitchen table and chairs. This essentially eliminates all electrical equipment as well as furniture deemed to be decorative in nature such as a coffee table, end tables or nightstands.

When is a Furnished Apartment a Good Idea?

A furnished apartment is a good idea for recent college graduates who lived on campus in a dorm room prior to graduation. These students likely have very little furniture of their own. In this case, renting a furnished apartment may be more economical than purchasing enough furniture to live comfortably in the apartment.

The overall cost of a furnished apartment may be higher in the long run because the renter may pay more but those who are unable to pay a great deal of money upfront to furnish an apartment might not mind paying this additional amount. For these renters, they are not likely to notice the impact of a slightly higher monthly rent payment but they would definitely feel the impact of significant purchases such as a bed, couch or dining room set.

When is an Unfurnished Apartment a Good Idea?

There are certain situations in which an unfurnished apartment is a good idea. This includes a situation where the renter has already accumulated enough furniture to furnish the entire apartment. In this case, selecting a furnished apartment would not make sense because the renter would have to find a location to store either his own furniture or the furniture supplied by the apartment complex. The cost of storage can add up very quickly. Additionally, the renter probably pays a higher rent to stay in a furnished apartment.

An unfurnished apartment is also a good idea when the renter currently does not have any furniture but is looking forward to purchasing furniture and has already saved up enough money to make these purchases. In this situation the renter will likely select an unfurnished apartment and plan on shopping for furniture almost immediately after taking possession of the rental property.

Storing Extra Furniture

Renters who opt for a fully furnished apartment when they already have a sufficient amount of furniture have to determine what they will do with their furniture while they are staying in the rental apartment. The options are basically as follows:furniture

* Sell or give away all currently owned furniture
* Store your own furniture
* Store the furniture which comes with the apartment

While each of the above options is certainly valid, the renter should seriously consider whether or not they want to pay additional storage fees just to rent a furnished apartment. Renters who plan to sell or donate their current furniture do not face this dilemma but those who plan to store one set of furniture should carefully consider the price of storage. They should also consult with the leasing agent to determine if there are any contract items which prohibit placing furniture owned by the apartment complex in an offsite storage facility. There may be provisions which allow for these items to be stored but require them to be stored onsite.